Community Corrections helps Tennessee clients change their lives

John Partipilo / Tennessee Lookout / Lane Gomez says Tennessee's Community Corrections program changed his life. Now, the program is on the verge of vanishing thanks to a change by Gov. Bill Lee.

Without Davidson County Community Corrections, Brandon "Lane" Gomez figures he'd be in prison or dead.

The 37-year-old Nashville man was strung out on heroin and fentanyl for about a decade, arrested on charges of felony theft to feed his habit 43 times and convicted 28 times when – fortunately, he says – a judge gave him the break he needed.

Instead of sending him to prison, the judge ordered him first to drug and alcohol treatment, then to check in with Davidson County Community Corrections. The decision saved his life.

Once he got the fogginess out of his brain, he realized he was facing years of hard time if he messed up again. One day the lightbulb came on, and he decided to give the program a chance to work rather than try to game the system.